When we go raspberry picking we often end up with far more fruit than we can use before it begins to get overripe. So instead of letting those beautiful berries go bad, make fresh raspberry syrup - which is great for cocktails as well as for pouring on plain yogurt for breakfast (or on your pancakes). The recipe for the syrup follows the cocktail recipe in this blog post.
We have an abundance of mint in our garden, so what we came up with for this berry cocktail is a variation on a julep. According to our research this should technically be called a "Smash" (not a julep). The name Smash is derived from the herbs that are smashed during the shaking of the cocktail. A julep is created in the glass in which it is served, whereas a smash is mixed in a cocktail shaker. This seems to be a rather fine point of distinction, but we're keeping with tradition here.
We serve our Raspberry Smash in a silver julep cup, but a small mason jar would make a nice presentation. Make sure your crushed ice is not too small - you don't want it melting really fast and over-diluting your drink. We think raspberry, mint and some rye is just what you need at the end of a warm day!
Raspberry Smash2 1/2 ounces Rye
5 Fresh mint leaves (plus more for garnish)
1 ounce Raspberry simple syrup (see recipe below)
Shake all ingredients over with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Strain through a fine sieve into a julep cup (or old-fashioned glass). Add crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig and a fresh raspberry.
Raspberry Simple Syrup8 ounces water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (about 12 ounces)
1 ounce vodka
Add water and sugar to saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add berries and simmer for 5 minutes - breaking up berries with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh strainer - pressing on the fruit pulp.
Cool to room temperature, add the vodka, and funnel into a bottle. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.
|Fresh berries and mint|
|Berries simmering in the sugar water|
|Straining the cooked berries|
|Another sketch done at the farm|